MDDC Celebrates Winners of 2014 Editorial Awards
Reporters, editors and other media professionals receive awards at Editorial Awards luncheon May 1 at BWI Westin in Linthicum, MD
(Annapolis, MD) – Members and supporters of the Maryland | Delaware | DC Press Association came together today at a luncheon program to honor excellence in journalism by recognizing the winners of the Editorial Contest, which celebrates print and online work completed in 2014. The contest, governed by the Association’s Editorial Committee, admitted nearly 2,000 entries from member publications among 50 categories. There are six divisions in the contest, which group member publications into daily and non-daily categories, then further group them by circulation. One Best of Show award is given in each category across all divisions. Additionally, one James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award is given across all divisions to the publication best demonstrating use of public information act requests in its reporting. The capstone award, one per division, is Newspaper of the Year.
This year, the Association recognized a new journalist with its inaugural Rookie of the Year award. This award honors a new journalist with less than 18 months' experience in the field. Nine nominations were received from seven member publications. Rachael Pacella, of The Daily Times in Salisbury, MD, won the award based on the strength and versatility of her reporting. Pacella covers Delaware beach towns and environmental issues from The Daily Times’ Bethany Beach office. The award was judged by a distinguished panel: Lucy Dalglish, Dean and Professor of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, Tom Linthicum, Washington Bureau Chief of Capital News Service, and John League, retired publisher of The Herald-Mail in Hagerstown.
The Baltimore Sun won the James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award for its work using public records to reveal police misconduct, problems in state-run group homes and other issues. The award is named for Jim Keat, a retired editor and foreign correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, who was a long-time advocate for public information access. Keat is also a member of the MDDC Newspaper Hall of Fame. The award was judged by a distinguished panel: Jack Murphy, retired executive director of MDDC Press Association and long-time editor of the Gazettes and Tom Marquardt, retired editor and publisher of The Capital in Annapolis. The judges said they were impressed by the Sun’s reporting which both covered important topics and delved deeply into public problems. In its entry, the Sun said that its reporters had made dozen of requests for records from government at local, state and federal levels, and that the results produced several important stories.
The Newspaper of the Year awards represent the best publication in each division. These awards are chosen based on the points accumulated for first and second prizes in each category. In the daily divisions, The Baltimore Sun won the award in Division A (dailies over 75,000); The Frederick News-Post was named Newspaper of the Year for Division B (dailies from 20,000 to 75,000); and the Carroll County Times won in Division C (dailies under 20,000). For non-daily publications, The Aegis won the award in Division D (non-dailies over 20,000); Washington Business Journal was named Newspaper of the Year for Division E (non-dailies from 10,000 to 20,000) and the Baltimore Business Journal won in Division F (non-dailies under 10,000).
Click for a full listing of winners. Click for photos from the event. Each member publication was given a custom press release listing all of their winners. To see all of the award-winning work, please browse by category:
Also at the event, Rockville High School senior Greta Anderson was named the 2015 Michael S. Powell High School Journalist of the Year. Greta is currently the editor-in-chief of Rockville High School’s newspaper, The Rampage. A panel of MDDC editors and reporters, including Angie Price of the Bay Times, Dan Divilio of the Kent County News, Vanessa Junkin of The Daily Times, Steve Gunn of the Capital Gazette and Brian Karem of the Sentinel reviewed 23 applications for this prestigious $1,500 cash award. Greta’s breadth of experience impressed the judges. She covered sensitive topics such as the death of a classmate with empathy and integrity and reported with dogged determination a story about a string of thefts in the school locker room, even filing a Freedom of Information request to compel her school to provide a history of incidents. One of the editors on the judging panel remarked that Greta “…could show up in our newsroom someday.”